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It’s ‘that’ time of the month…

Posted Oct 19 2010 12:00am

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It’s been nothing short of a crazy and stressful month. I’m feeling it with every inch of my being. Ever since I started practicing
Chinese Medicine I have managed to have my PMS (pre-menstrual stress) under control – free from pain and tension. This month, however, the stresses I have felt have managed to unravel me. I’m not surprised as I see the impact stress has on the body everyday in the clinic.

As I sit and type, my tummy is heavy and my head hurts. I have a thumper of a headache and a pounding so forcefully resinating in my lower abdomen, we could put a tune to it and have ourselves a nice little theme song! Obviously, I need to shut down my computer and head to bed but I know that if I write this whilst I feel so horrible I can make my point. My point is this; period pain, headache, pre-menstrual tension (emotional, physical or mental) all reflect the body’s inner working systems aren’t functioning smoothly. Whilst I’m certain we have all felt different levels of any one of these, these signs are your body’s way of telling you that it is struggling.

Pain in the body is a perfect example of this struggle. From a Chinese Medicine perspective pain may indicate there is stagnation present in the relative area (ie the uterus) and that blood and essential nutrients aren’t able to pass around and supply organs and tissues adequately. When blood and essential nutrients can’t move or nourish the result is pain; a warning sign. Pain at specific times of the month allows me to diagnose and treat accordingly, ultimately leading to better body function. With fertility in mind, it is essential to ensure adequate nutrient supply to the ovaries, to make great quality embryos. It doesn’t stop here, this chain goes on and on. The uterus requires the same level of energy to make sure it’s ready for implantation. Stagnation will prevent this from occurring effectively.

I know that some simple lifestyle changes will have me back on track for next month. I also know that if the pendulum has swung too far in the one direction or stress is inevitable, then its essential to get it sorted. Period or ovulation pain (any pain really) shouldn’t be experienced every month, nor do the other nasties that may accompany it. It’s a free sign from your body. No radiologist required.

Remember this and lessen your PMS this cycle.
~ Your granny wasn’t so crazy when she said be careful when swimming during the pre-menstrual window. Take care not to allow the lower abdomen and back to get too cold. This may contribute to pain.
~ Eating Cold prior to your expected period date may lead to a more painful period. Stick to warmer foods in the 3-4 days leading into it as well as during the period time.
~ Exercise to get blood flowing and moves cortisol out of the body. Cortisol is the hormone released when stressed. It’s important to move this through the body and to lessen the effects of stress which will disrupt and affect your menstruation.
~ Don’t be a wonderwoman during the period time. You are literally bleeding. Back off slightly and feel better for it.
~ Post period – R & R is a must.

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